In these widely discussed works, he argued that the strategic importance of information technology in business has diminished as IT has become more commonplace, standardized and cheaper.
In the Phaedrus, ancient orator Socrates warns that writing might cause people to be dependent on books and weaken their memories. New technology frightens us because we are not sure what skills it might be replacing.
In the case of books, the skill in question was the capacity of memory, but what we may have lost in memory, Carr argues, was worth it for the deepened individuality that books afforded us.
To display this point, Carr writes that the Dutch humanist Erasmus advised students to memorize notable passages from their books. For Erasmus, memorization was not a mechanical process but a way to synthesize or internalize knowledge that speaks to you. Memorization fell out of fashion with increasing technologies for knowledge storage, and in the age of the Internet, we have a seemingly endless external database.
The implied question here is whether or not we should have retained those fears, and if our memory skills have, in fact, been hindered.
Active Themes Carr turns his attention to the process of how memories are made. He begins by recalling scientist Eric Kandel, who demonstrated in the s with his Aplysia experiments that synapses are altered by experience. How the brain was transforming experience into memories. Inphilosopher William James concluded there were two kinds of memories: To investigate whether our memories have been affected by the Internet, Carr ventures to explain how the process of making memories works on a scientific level.
He introduces the concept of primary and secondary memories to set the stage for explaining why we forget some things but remember others forever. Active Themes Studies on boxers who develop amnesia after blows to the head imply that even strong memories remain unstable after they are formed.
The process is delicate and any disruption can erase the memories forever. In fact, the storage of long-term memories, as proved by U Penn neurologist Louis Flexner, is biological, requiring the synthesis of new proteins, whereas the creation of short-term memories is not.
Kandel found that the creation of long-term memories stimulated growth of new synaptic terminals. In other words, the anatomy of the brain had to change in order to store the long-term memories, proving——as Kandel wrote in his memoir——that the anatomy of the brain is changed with learning.
Karr returns to Eric Kandel and his sea slugs to emphasize with a real world example how we retain knowledge.
The takeaway here is that the process of memory making is both delicate and biological. The process is delicate because the brain requires time to transform a primary memory into a secondary memory.
If the brain is interrupted, the memory is gone forever. Most importantly, the process requires the creation of new synaptic terminals——meaning that memories are anatomically located. Carr illuminates two other types of memories: Implicit memories are recalled automatically from the unconscious when doing a performative action like riding a bike.
Explicit memories are recollections of facts and happenings in our past experienced in conscious working memory. Carr points out that the memories we are usually referring to when we talk about our memories—in this book and in general—are the explicit ones.
This segment serves as an introduction to the concept of working memory. The takeaway here is that working memory contains all the explicit facts and recollections in our conscious mind.Madison Patrick Review on The Shallows In this non-fictional book, The Shallows: What the internet Is Doing to Our Brains, Nicholas Carr talks about how internet technology is effecting the human brain.4/5().
Technology offers to make our lives more efficient, yet could that be a bad thing? Tom Chatfield spoke to author Nicholas Carr about the perils of automation. Carr’s in-depth explanation of human memory consolidation serves to highlight the problems with an analogy that compares human memory to computer memory.
Human memory, unlike computer memory, is alive––it is a biological process. A level sociology revision - education, families, research methods, crime and deviance and more! READING A cultural morphing. I have noticed over the years since the ’s, a general deterioration of people’s desire to READ and WRITE.
When I say “read”, I . By Daniel T. Willingham How should American teens spend their leisure time? I recently asked* American adults this question, after explaining that the.